Music Industry Management Degree Program Information

Oct 12, 2019

Students interested in managing artists, working for record labels, or promoting music events can enroll in programs in music business or music management.

Essential Information

Programs in music management teach students how to apply leadership, management, and creative skills to both the commercial and artistic facets of the music industry. Students enrolled in associate's degree programs are prepared for entry-level positions, such as retail associates and promoters. These programs include liberal arts coursework and also emphasize business communications, sales, and music publishing.

Other degree options include bachelor's degree programs in music business and master's degree programs in music management. Focusing more on the business aspects of the music industry, the coursework of these programs highlight public relations, entrepreneurship, business operations, and entertainment law. Admittance to undergraduate programs typically only require high school education, while graduate applicants must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Some schools require students to audition for faculty if they do not hold a bachelor's degree in music. Internships may be available for bachelor's and master's students, with the latter group also being required to complete a thesis or research project to graduate.

Associate of Applied Science in Music Business

A music business associate's degree program prepares students for entry-level positions in a wide-range of roles in the music industry. These programs combine liberal arts, music business, and management courses. Students learn the basics of audio technology and marketing techniques for artist promotion and music merchandising. They also learn to work behind the scenes and in highly visible positions in the music industry, from audio recording to artist management. Students take courses on topics, such as copyright and business law, and financial accounting. Other program coursework include:

  • Advertising
  • Sales
  • Business communication
  • Music publishing
  • Radio and television audio

Bachelor of Arts in Music Business

A bachelor's degree program in music business teaches various aspects of the music business, including audio production, music marketing, and business management. Students learn about music technologies that are changing the music industry, including digital recording, music downloads, and Internet marketing. They also learn how to manage and market artists and products, discover networking opportunities, and develop recording and booking contracts. Some programs have a musical performance and composition element and require students to take courses in piano or ensemble performance. Some courses in this degree program might include:

  • Artist development
  • Media distribution
  • Public relations
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Event management

Master of Music in Music Management

Students study industry specific topics, such as music industry law and entertainment technology. They also learn about business management by taking marketing, leadership, entrepreneurship, financial accounting, and publicity courses. Common courses include:

  • Music marketing
  • Entertainment law
  • Consumer behavior
  • Business operations
  • Organizational theory

Popular Career Options

Graduates can find employment opportunities in the music, television and radio industries, as well as with advertising, marketing, and artist development agencies. Popular career choices for graduates include:

  • Concert manager
  • Booking manager
  • Record label associate
  • Copyright agent
  • Music producer
  • Promoter
  • Retail associate
  • Road manager

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Graduates of these programs are eligible for a variety of careers. Public relations specialists who work in the sound recording industries made a mean annual salary of $68,440 as of 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Outlook for this career was predicted to be as fast as average, with jobs expected to increase by 6% from 2018 to 2028. Advertising, promotions and marketing managers were expected to see a 8% increase in jobs throughout the same time frame. The BLS reported a mean annual salary of $147,240 for marketing managers in 2018.

For the 2014-2024 decade, the BLS predicted job growth of 9% for producers and directors of performing arts productions, which includes live theatre, movies, music and other types of performance. Music producers have a wide salary range. In January 2016, reported that these professionals earned between $23,454 and $154,335 per year, with the median salary at $49,781.

A music business or music management degree at the associate's, bachelor's, or master's level prepares students for a management career within the music industry. Earning a degree in this field can give students many more options for work than those without, especially at higher levels.

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